St Helens confirm signing of Joey Lussick

St Helens have confirmed the signing of Joey Lussick from Parramatta Eels on a three-year deal from 2022.

The 25-year-old hooker scored 18 tries in 59 appearances for Salford between 2018-20 before moving back to Australia to join Parramatta in the NRL.

Lussick, who has made nine appearances for the Eels this season, helped Salford reach the Super League Grand Final in 2019 and the Challenge Cup final the following season.

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf said: “Joey is a player who caught everyone’s attention playing for Salford.

“He showed how hard he competes and how he can find the try line at Salford and is a proven Super League player.

“We know we need competition for places and another player in the hooker position and we have done a lot of homework on Joey. He is exactly the type of player and person we want.

“He is now showing his talent in the NRL and has the core skills of a hooker including a great kicking game and a great ability to find the try-line.”

Lussick scored 18 tries in 59 games for Salford

Lussick said: “I am really excited for the future ahead over at St Helens. The Saints have been the powerhouse team and the team to beat over the last few years, so I am really looking forward to being a part of that next season.

“I really enjoyed my time in England and St Helens won the year I was at Salford as well as the following year. They are going well again this season and I have seen nothing but strong performances. They have set the standard every week so I am looking forward to playing my part.”

Lussick is looking forward to playing alongside England international and current Saints captain James Roby next season.

He added: “James Roby has been a world class player. Everyone in Australia and England knows him and has been one of St Helens greatest ever players and he will be potentially one of the most capped players ever too.

“I am really looking forward to picking his brains and training alongside him. He is the skipper of the club, and I can’t wait to share the training field and playing field with him.”

About Drew Darbyshire 8045 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.


    • By all accounts, Coote was offered a longer contract by Hull KR with higher pay; Saints are unlikely to offer a multi-year deal on increased pay to a player over 30, no matter how good they have been performing. Within a cap, players need to be juggled to fit.

      Welsby has performed at a level which is now demanding a first team/starting position each week. With Coote’s contract coming to an end, it is natural to let him go due to the other points mentioned; otherwise they risk Welsby becoming frustrated at continuing to be rotated and then he decides to move to a team who will offer him big money to be a starter. Saints have to make a decision on Welsby’s position and then adjust the squad accordingly; all signs point to them earmarking him for starting full back next season, so no room for Coote.

      They have then spent on new players, yes, but ones which fill roles they thought they needed. For example, with Welsby being young and probably set for full back, they now do not have Welsby as full back cover and cannot justify keeping Coote as cover, so they have brought in Hopoate who can cover full back but also play centre, a position they are already losing Naiqama in. They couldn’t keep Coote as cover like that because he can’t play centre.

      They have spent on forwards but have lost Bentley (who highlights the fact that a rival team can come in and offer a main role and a better contract to tempty players, which is why they had to commit fully to Welsby) and have struggled with play out wide at times since losing Taia.

      Roby is likely in his last year next season and Woolfe has never seemed convinced by Smith as an alternative and has given him very little game time. Getting Lussick to rotate with Roby is a reasonable move as he has plenty of years in him but showed already that he can perform at Super League, so they probably decided they had to spend at hooker this year to transition from Roby next season. It shouldn’t have to be said but Roby is almost unmatched in what he offers to the team and is a machine. They have to move away from relying on him, at times, whilst he is still there and so it makes sense to spend on another hooker with Roby still there.

      So lots of new players but no room to keep Coote.

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